Azam Khan, the Samajwadi Party candidate from Rampur, has been barred again from campaigning in the ongoing national election for violating the model code of conduct. While he was banned earlier this month for a controversial comment against BJP candidate Jaya Prada, the fresh action has been taken for his "highly provocative speeches", an Election Commission order said. The poll body added that Mr Khan in his speeches appealed to secure votes on religious lines. Azam Khan's 48-hour ban will commence at 6 am from Wednesday.
"The Commission observes that Sh. Azam Khan has made highly provocative speeches in his public utterances against the district election machinery and also on the religious lines, that have the propensity to polarize the elections, which is not confined to the constituency only where the statement is made, but to the other parts as well due to fast dissemination of information in this digital age," the poll body observed in its order.
"The Commission, based on the material facts and evidences, is convinced that Sh Azam Khan in his impugned speeches has appealed to secure votes on religious lines that tantamount to violation of 'General Conduct' of 'Model Code of Conduct'," it added.
Earlier this month, Azam Khan was barred from campaigning for three days for his disgusting comment against actor-turned-politician Jaya Prada, his political rival in Rampur.
"I brought her (Jaya Prada) to Rampur. You are a witness that I did not allow anyone to touch her body. It took you 17 years to identify her real face but I got to know in 17 days that she wears khaki underwear," Azam Khan had said.
After the ban, Mr Khan, an influential leader in Uttar Pradesh, had got emotional and had a quiver in his voice while addressing a public rally in Uttar Pradesh's Rampur as he alleged that he was being treated as an anti-national and a terrorist.
The Samajwadi Party leader had said, "The three-day ban by Election Commission just ahead of the elections implies what they want to do. During the ban I cannot go anywhere, I cannot meet anyone, nor participate in rallies and public addresses."
His son, Abdullah Azam Khan had alleged that he was banned as he was a Muslim.